Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Published by Thomas Nelson


In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

This book is so beautifully written that it broke my heart. It tells the true love story of Joy Davidman and CS Lewis, from how they first became acquainted as pen pals, through the struggles of Davidman’s first marriage and then their growing attachment after she made the move from America to England.

Told from the perspective of Joy, who comes across as a truly lovable and strong willed woman who isn’t prepared to compromise when it comes to being a mother to her children, an independent woman and a published author and poet, during a time when it was still rare for married women to be anything more than housewives. Her determination to be who she wanted to be was awe inspiring and it’s easy to see why anyone would fall in love with her, even if she was quick to butt heads over theological points.

Obviously, it’s impossible to know how much artistic license has been taken in the writing of this story, but the bare facts of their relationship which is easily verified with a quick google search are both beautiful and tragic. By all accounts, they really did love each other deeply and for two people not known for their compromising abilities, moved heaven and earth so that they could be together.

The book reads like the innermost thoughts of Joy, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and covers a lot of the pain, disappointments and betrayals that she faced. I’m glad that she got the chance to shine in this book as she was a published author and poet in her own right but is mostly famous for being married to the author of the Chronicles of Narnia. Each chapter starts with an appropriate line from one of the sonnets she wrote during her acquaintance with Lewis, which is a nice introduction to her own work and has made me desperately want to read those poems in full.

I can’t recommend this book enough to historical fiction fans and romance readers, it’s an exquisitely written book and made my heart happy to read it.

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